Today is Friday, April 18, the 108th day of 2003 with 257 to follow.
This is Good Friday.
The moon is waning.
The morning stars are Venus, Mars, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The evening stars are Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include Italian duchess Lucrezia Borgia in 1480; lawyer Clarence Darrow in 1857; symphony conductor Leopold Stokowski in 1882; actors Barbara Hale in 1922 (age 81), Hayley Mills in 1946 (age 57), James Woods in 1947 (age 56), Rick Moranis in 1954 (age 49), Eric Roberts in 1956 (age 47) and Jane Leeves ("Frasier") in 1961 (age 42); late night talk show host Conan O'Brien and actor Eric McCormack ("Will & Grace"), both in 1963 (age 40); and actress Melissa Joan Hart in 1976 (age 27).
On this date in history:
In 1775, American patriot Paul Revere began his famed ride through the Massachusetts countryside, crying out "The British are coming!" to rally the Minutemen.
In 1906, an earthquake struck San Francisco, collapsing buildings and igniting fires that destroyed much of what remained of the city. By the time it was over three days later, almost 500 people were dead and more than a quarter of a million were homeless.
In 1923, Yankees Stadium opened in New York.
In 1942, U.S. planes bombed the Japanese mainland for the first time during World War II.
In 1945, journalist Ernie Pyle, America's most popular World War II correspondent, was killed by Japanese machine-gun fire on the island of Ie Shima in the Pacific.
In 1949, the Republic of Ireland formally declared itself independent from Britain.
In 1980, Rhodesia became the independent African nation of Zimbabwe.
In 1983, the U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, was severely damaged by a car-bomb explosion that killed 63 people, including the suicide bomber and 17 Americans. The terrorist attack was carried out in protest of the U.S. military presence in Lebanon.
In 1987, Democrat Annette Strauss was elected the first woman mayor of Dallas.
In 1992, an 11-year-old Florida boy sued to "divorce" his natural parents and remain with his foster parents. The boy eventually won his suit.
In 1993, the U.N. Security Council voted to toughen sanctions against Serbia because of its support for Bosnian Serbs trying to carve an ethnically pure state out of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In 1996, gunmen killed 18 people and wounded 15 more in an attack on tourists at the Egyptian pyramids.
In 2000, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights embarrassed the Clinton administration by refusing to criticize China's record on human rights.
In 2002, former Sen. Bob Kerrey, D.-Neb., revealed that at least 13 civilians were killed by his U.S. Navy unit in a Vietnamese village in 1969.
Also in 2002, actor Robert Blake was arrested in connection with the murder of his wife in Los Angeles.
A thought for the day: Edward W. Howe said, "If you don't learn to laugh at troubles, you won't have anything to laugh at when you grow old."